Preparations for the world’s first electric one-make rally cup are in full swing.(more…)
Development of the Opel Corsa-e Rally has begun as planned.
The Corsa-e Rally powered by a 50 kWh battery is currently undergoing numerous endurance and performance tests at the Test Center in Dudenhofen to ensure that the 136hp Corsa-e Rally with 260 Nm of torque meets the high standards of the ADAC Opel e-Rally Cup.
The debut of the world’s first rally brand cup for electric cars is scheduled for late summer 2020. The first Cup season will include at least eight events over the year into 2021, primarily within the framework of the German Rally Championship (DRM). The final schedule is planned to be announced at the Essen Motor Show (November 30 – December 8, 2019).
The Opel Corsa-e Rally will already be presented to participants and media representatives next weekend (October 18-19) at the 2019 DRM season finale, the ADAC 3-Städte Rallye around Freyung in Lower Bavaria. Presentation of the ADAC Opel e-Rally Cup and the associated Opel and ADAC joint promotion concept is scheduled for Friday at 1 p.m. for the teams and at 2 p.m. for media representatives.
The electric racing car will be on display in the Freyung service area on both rally days. Opel Motorsport Director Jörg Schrott will be on site and available to answer any questions from interested parties and journalists.
“Until now the German rally scene was able to read about the Opel Corsa-e Rally and admire the vehicle for the first time at the official world premiere at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt – and now we are pleased to present our show car to the rally teams at the DRM season finale. Some potential participants, some of them from abroad, will travel to the ADAC 3-Städte Rallye specifically to see the vehicle and learn more about our forward-looking concept on site. We’re looking forward to the contact and interaction with the teams,“ says Jörg Schrott.
After unveiling the slightly refreshed Astra earlier this year, Vauxhall is back testing the face lifted Insignia. This time around, two prototypes a saloon and a estate, are spied lapping the Nurburgring track in Germany.(more…)
After the signature of an agreement with the works council and the IG Metall and as mentioned in the PACE! plan, Groupe PSA will invest in the Rüsselsheim plant and create the sustainability of the site with the production of the next generation Opel Astra as of 2021.(more…)
German authorities have ordered a recall the Adam and Corsa after it was found that they exceeded emissions allowed by law, according to the information published by Bild am Sonntag. The order covers 210,000 cars, of which 53,588 in the UK.(more…)
Vauxhall & Opel is back on course one year after presenting the PACE! strategic plan.
“PACE! works! Vauxhall & Opel will be sustainably profitable, electric and global. This is something every employee can be proud of. We have managed to reorganise ourselves in the last twelve months and changed our mind set. We posted a profit of €502 million in the first six months of 2018 and we are continuing to work hard on our success,” emphasised Vauxhall/Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller.
One important lever for the sustainable economic success is the improved competitiveness in all areas of the company. Vauxhall/Opel managed to cut its fixed costs by 28 per cent in the first half of the year. Extensive agreements on the improvement of competitiveness were signed with the social partners at all sites. This enabled a significant improvement of the labour costs-to-revenue ratio. The company also delivered on its promise to streamline its senior management: such management positions were cut by a quarter over the course of the last year. Vauxhall/Opel clearly stands by its goal of avoiding plant closures. Investments are being made in the various sites and multiple plants have already received new product allocations.
Vauxhall is also increasingly benefitting from the integration into the Groupe PSA. Vehicles based on the shared Multi Energy Platforms are up to 50 per cent more cost efficient in development while at the same time improving quality. Extensive synergies are also being achieved in numerous other areas of the company – such as by the creation of integrated sales structures in many European countries, as well as global functions.
In the meantime, in Germany, the Rüsselsheim Engineering Centre has strengthened its position at the core of the Groupe PSA R&D network: In addition to 15 centres of competence with global responsibility (including seats, fuel cells and advanced driver assistance systems) for the entire group, the Rüsselsheim-based engineers also have the lead for the development of light commercial vehicles and a new family of four-cylinder petrol engines. As per forecasted overcapacities going forward due to the decline in third-party assignments, Opel has also announced plans for a strategic partnership with Segula Technologies to safeguard qualified jobs in Rüsselsheim and Dudenhofen. Up to 2,000 Opel employees would join the engineering service provider. The agreed protection against dismissal until July 2023 would remain in place.
CO2 target will be met thanks to increasing level of electrification
Having access to the sophisticated Groupe PSA platforms and propulsion technologies is the foundation for the extensive electrification of the Vauxhall portfolio. Four vehicles will be electrified in 2020. This includes the new Corsa in a pure battery electric variant, along with the Grandland X PHEV – Vauxhall’s first plug-in hybrid. These vehicles are integral components of Vauxhall’s product offensive.
The company will bring a total of eight new models to market in the next two years. There will be an electric version of every Vauxhall model by 2024. “This offensive will strongly contribute to meeting the strict CO2 limits set by the EU,” said Lohscheller. Charging infrastructure is a key enabler for the development of electrification. Therefore, Opel will contribute to a charging infrastructure project at the company’s headquarters together with partners such as the city of Rüsselsheim.
A further key pillar of the PACE! strategic plan is a further strengthening of the brand as well as a clear focus on profitable segments, channel mix and markets. Vauxhall is already giving a preview of the brand image and the design philosophy of the future with the GT X Experimental. A British brand since 1903, Vauxhall’s brand values are ingenious, progressive and approachable. “Vauxhall will stay British, Opel will stay German. We will continue to clearly differentiate ourselves from our French sister brands,” added Lohscheller. First concrete results of the strengthened brand are already visible: Apart from a significantly improved sales channel mix, it was especially the enhanced pricing power that drove the good financial result in the first six months of 2018. Furthermore, customer loyalty has been improved considerably compared with 2016.
Focus on light commercial vehicles to secure increase of market share
Elsewhere, Vauxhall is attacking the profitable light commercial vehicle segment with more vigour than ever before. In the mid-term, the company wants to increase its market to the same level as that in the passenger car segment. This will be made possible by improvements to the dealer contracts and a completely renewed portfolio. The recently launched new Combo immediately managed to win the prestigious “International Van of the Year” award. Vauxhall/Opel has already taken 25,000 orders since the vehicle went on sale in mid-September. This means the company has already taken more orders for the new Combo than it had registrations for the predecessor from across Europe in the full year 2017. Furthermore, the all-new British-built Vivaro will be launched in 2019.
The offensive on non-European export markets is also gaining momentum. New contracts have been signed with strong importers to grow in many countries such as Morocco, Tunisia or South Africa. Already in the course of this month, Opel will start assembly of the Grandland X for the African market in a new plant in Namibia. For the first time, an extensive full service leasing offer – under the roof of the Groupe PSA mobility brand Free2Move – was also launched in the European markets in recent weeks. This will also add further important growth stimulus.
Michael Lohscheller continues to emphasise that the implementation of PACE! remains the highest priority for the entire organisation. “We will continue to put all our efforts into PACE! and we will be sustainably successful as British and German brands.”
Germany’s Transport Ministry said on Monday it would order roughly 100,000 Vauxhall/Opel vehicles to be recalled as part of an emissions probe, after prosecutors searched the carmaker’s offices earlier in the day.
Two very different rides from very different eras went head to head down the drag strip, and one of them was declared the big winner.
PSA’s Europe boss Maxime Picat has warned that British car production could be in danger if Britain’s impending exit from the European Union leaves manufacturers needing to build separately for both the British and European market.(more…)